Monday, November 8, 2010

Review - The Mermaid's Pendant by Leann Neal Reilly

TITLE:    The Mermaid's Pendant
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Leann Neal Reilly
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 572 pages
PUBLISHED:   Zephon Books, 2010
ISBN#:   978-0-98568-7505
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from Publisher for Review and TLC Blog Tours

 Inspired by the beloved classic The Little Mermaid, THE MERMAID’S PENDANT is a modern fairy tale about growing up and discovering who you are—and what you believe in. At times lyrical, this novel is a fantastic journey filled with magic, myth, romance, and adventure.

Four years after John Wilkerson claims the mermaid Tamarind for his wife, they have an idyllic marriage that depends on a talisman that she crafted on their island paradise. But Tamarind learns a painful truth: it takes more than legs to live on land and more than magic to sustain a bond. When the talisman breaks, she and John are forced to rely on themselves instead of magic.

Three wise women play key roles in the young lovers’ journey to mature love. Ana, Tamarind’s aging mentor, casts spells and performs seductions to keep the lovers apart. Valerie, an ex-pat jewelry maker cum fairy godmother, works her own magic to bring them together. Lucy, their widowed neighbor, grounds the couple in the realities of marriage, parenting, and family.

THE MERMAID’S PENDANT is a story for anyone who has ever believed in the transforming power of love.

MY TAKE:   **I have tried to write this without any spoilers, but it has proven to be a tough task and I apologize if anyone feels I've let too much slip out. 

I have always been a fan of the original tale of The Little Mermaid.  It's a little grittier and "real" than the beloved Disney take on the story.  It is darker, based more on the theme of love lost and sacrifice than of the happily-ever-after everyone associates with the title nowadays.  This wonderful modern and updated version is closer to that first telling of the classic story.

I must admit that I really didn't care for John in the beginning.  I thought he was full of himself, selfish, and promiscuous.  He was technically cheating on two women for a while.  Not my kind of man.  I did warm up to him eventually.  Especially when he gets caught up in a web of deceit that really wasn't his doing.  I almost felt sorry for him, not quite though.  I tend to be hard nosed when it comes to infidelity issues.  But what counts, is that I did like him when it came down to it.

I loved Tamarind!  She was fresh and quite funny without meaning to be.  It was nice seeing our jaded world through her innocent eyes.  The author did a lovely job of showing her naivete and her strength at the same time.  Her belief in humans and her loyalty was very sweet, if misguided and mostly undeserved.  She is very straight-forward and unfortunately learns how devious and underhanded people can be.  I loved the descriptions of her and her surroundings as well as her life as a mermaid.

There were several other characters who supported the story, both good and bad.  With the evil outweighing the good, Tamarind and John had their work cut out for them.  I loved that Tamarind found Valerie as a role-model and sort of guardian.  Tamarind's faith in her teacher Ana turns out to be ill placed and she suffers for it.  Tamarind's neighbor Lucy also helps teach the pair what it takes to make it in this life.  She's a nice balance for John's ex, Zoe.  I immediately detested her when she appeared on the scene.  She's one of "those" type of women.  All of these characters were well written and fleshed out quite nicely.  They did what they were created to do in as much as you either loved them or hated them.  

A very imaginative remake with a healthy dose of magic and reality, I highly recommend this book and I think it is another story that would be an outstanding choice for a book club selection.  There are many points to ponder in this tale that can be applied to our own everyday lives.  My copy has a great reading guide in the back that would spur some lively discussions.  You can also download it HERE.

To learn more about author Leann Neal Reilly, you can check out her website and find her on Facebook
MY RATING:    4/5

WHERE TO BUY IT:    Amazon, IndieBound, The Book Depository, Powell's Books

If you'd like to read more reviews for this book, stop by the TLC Book Tours site for a list of participating bloggers.

Thank you to the author and TLC Book Tours for including One Book Shy on this tour.

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. Jules,

    Thank you for your insightful review -- I enjoyed seeing my story and characters from your perspective. I hope I have the chance to discuss my book with some of your blog readers.

  2. LeAnn,

    Thank you so much for stopping in today. We are thrilled to have you!

    I really enjoyed The Mermaid's Pendant and am looking forward to reading more from you soon.


  3. Sounds like a good book! I've also found the Little Mermaid's story intriguing -- the whole idea of losing something to love. I'll keep my eye out for this book!

  4. Hi Jules, thank you so much for the great review and for being on the tour! We really appreciate it.


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